World Heritage sites – Rhodes

Aloha mai kakou,

It was remarkable to see the first couple of sites in my Greek visits bear the UNESCO designation of World Heritage sites, but after seeing this image nearly every day, I decided to count the number of sites. 


There are at least 17 World Heritage sites in Greece and in the last two weeks I have been to 7, plus one in Turkey and two in Italy.  They vary in significance as to whether it is historical or archaeological, and some places have more than one designated site.

There are 20 in all of the USA, most of which have natural significance.  Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is the only one in Hawai’i currently, although Pu’uhonua o Honaunau City of Refuge has been nominated in the past, and one is up for review, Papahanaumokuakea, the Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 

These in Greece are nearly all historical in significance.


RHODES – RODOS – 17 October

I love Rhodes.  The old town is a World Heritage site and the 5th most visited place in Greece. Our guide is an articulate local woman named Poly.

The highlight was the drive to Lindos Lindosto visit the acropolis there.  There was an ancient shrine to an ancient deity in a cave  above the water.  Later, a temple was built on the bluff above and dedicated to to Athena, protector of cities and goddess of wisdom.  This remained a sanctuary over the centuries, and the surrounding acropolis became a fortress during various invasions.

Athena LindiosAcropolis Lindios

Athena at her temple

This entire excursion involved the most steps I’ve encountered so far, and it was at least 80 degrees.

My getaway this day was a last-minute climb down to the sandy beach wishing I had my bathing suit.

Kalathos Beach, long, like Makena, with colored pebbles used for decoration.

Rhodes, stone walkway

We didn’t see it, but Rhodes has a Valley of Butterflies.  But they’re really moths.  They appear every June-September so plentiful they blanket the tree trunks.  We’re told  they’re brown with yellow stripes and orange wings, and camouflage well with trees.camoflaugh obn rtrees. 

We saw lots of eucalyptus trees planted after big fires, although they are foreign to Greek ecosystem.  In other arreas of mainland Greece we are told that whenever they (developers?) want to dry up a marsh or swampland, eucalyptus trees are planted to dry up the area. 

Olive trees most important, followed by citrus:  orange, lemon, lime; then peach, oak, fig, then spice:  sage, oregano, thyme. Wild flowers, orchids, Cyclades.  But, truly, olive teees are everywhere.

Rhodes Old City is a medieval town built by an order of Christian knights.  There are cathedrals and palaces and a moat that has never held water; nevertheless impressive.  Many significant buildings were destoyed by a fire when a bolt of lightning struck the armory and ignited all the ammunition in town.  The palace was rebuilt, as a result.


Kim Ku’ulei Birnie     (c)

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